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Court to decide Afoko’s bail application June 1

An Accra High Court will on June 1, 2023, decide whether to grant bail to Gregory Afoko accused of murdering Mr Adams Mahama, a former Upper East Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party.

This is after the applicant made an application for bail to face the retrial of the case after he was declared not guilty by four out of the seven jurors.

Mr Stephen Sowah Charway, Defense Counsel for Afoko, making the submission, said: ‘We have before you an application for bail pending trial. I move in terms of the motion paper and supporting affidavits.

‘ The basis of our application is quite simple that in the intervening period since the applicant was arrested on May 21, 2018, to date, we have had two full trials.

‘The first trial lasted for about three years and it was aborted just as the parties were to address the court before summary,’ he stated.

‘The second trial also lasted for a little over three years- 2019-2023. This second trial went the full length after the State produced 16 witnesses and after the jury examined the evidence presented by the State. The trial ended with four members of the jury making a determination that the applicant was not guilty and three members thought otherwise so retrial has been ordered as the law states,’ the Counsel noted.

He said before the concluding stage in the second trial, there was an application for bail, which was granted, but for some mysterious reasons, though all the bail conditions were executed, the applicant was not released.

Then there was a decision later where the bail was rescinded and the applicant had been on remand for eight years with two full trials spanning a period of about six years, he stated.

‘It is our respectful submission that the continuous detention of the applicant is unfair, is without any justification and is unconscionable. It is the trite principle of law that an accused person is innocent until proven guilty.’

He said: ‘Just as it is his constitutional right to fair trial, constitutional right to be tried within a reasonable trial, there is also a constitutional right to bail of an accused person clearly stated in Article 14(4) of the 1992 Constitution.’

While in detention, the applicant had not behaved in any rebellious way or whatsoever, the lawyer said.

He said Afoko, the applicant had no previous conviction before his arrest as his guilt had not been proven.

Just as the applicant met all the bail conditions in 2019, he was prepared to meet all the bail conditions, Mr Charway added.

‘He is willing to avail himself as a citizen of the Land for the retrial as ordered by the court.’

However, Madam Esi Dorm Fiadzo, the State Prosecutor objecting to the bail application, said ‘we are opposed to the application and rely on our affidavit in opposition and all the averment therein.’

Though the applicant was granted bail sometime in 2019 as counsel stated, he was not able to fulfil all his bail conditions, she said.

‘My Lady, all through counsel’s submission he kept on saying that the applicant had been detained unlawfully and this is unfair, unconstitutional and unconscionable. We want to set the record straight that even though the constitution guarantees personal liberty, the same constitution has spelt out situations where that liberty can be curtailed and one of them is detention pending trial.’

‘The State called 16 witnesses and tendered several exhibits but unfortunately it was hung jury so my Lady as it stands now he is presumed to be innocent but he is not a free man until a jury comes out to acquit him. He is currently in lawful custody.’

Afoko and Asangi Asangke were accused of pouring acid on the late Adams resulting in his death.

After trial, the jury found Asangi guilty and he was sentenced to life imprisonment.

Source: Ghana News Agency